Balboa Reservoir housing project featured in SF Chronicle

Published today in San Francisco Chronicle: ‘SF residents killed housing at Balboa Reservoir repeatedly. Will they embrace it this time?’

The article by JK Dineen dredges up 1980s history, when ballot initiatives led by City College faculty members defeated previous plans for housing on a portion of the Balboa Reservoir. Without one piece of evidence to support the notion, Dineen speculates about whether there will be a ballot initiative against the present housing plans now, three decades on.

The article fails to acknowledge the role that the late Mayor Ed Lee played in the present plans for housing, park space, retail, and child care on the reservoir site. In 2015, Mayor Lee initiated the chain of events that lead to the current plans. Shortly after that President Norman Yee helped form the Balboa Reservoir Community Advisory Committee that has been a part of the public input on the Project for over four years now.

Read the SF Chronicle piece here:

One thought on “Balboa Reservoir housing project featured in SF Chronicle

  1. Alvin Ja

    Sent to JK Dineen:

    Hi JK,

    Thank you for covering the Reservoir Project in the 10/1/2019 Chron.

    The Reservoir Project has been marketed deceptively to give the impression that the private developers would be providing 50% affordable housing in exchange for 50% market-rate.

    You noted in your article that “The current plan calls for the market-rate developer to pay for a third of the affordable housing — 380 units. The rest will be subsidized by the city.”

    However, I hope that in your future coverage on the Reservoir Project that you would be more emphatic and clear about the fact that the Reservoir Community Partners, LLC is misleadingly taking credit for 187 affordable units (17% of the 1100 total) that will be paid for with public monies.

    Perhaps you might look into the reason that Ken Rich is allowing this deception (of allowing Reservoir Community Partners, LLC to take credit for the 17% publicly-funded units) without public clarification or challenge.

    Please refer to my two attachments that were sent to Planning Commission in June 2019.

    —– Forwarded Message —–
    From: aj
    To: Planning Commission
    Sent: Friday, June 7, 2019, 05:02:59 AM PDT
    Subject: Balboa Reservoir Project–False advertising

    President Melgar, Vice President Koppel, Commissioners Fung, Hillis, Johnson, Moore, Richards:

    Planning Dept staff will be presenting the Balboa Reservoir Project to you on June 10, 2019.

    1. Deception of “50% affordable” or “up to 50% affordable”
    The Balboa Reservoir Project has been promoted consistently by Planning Dept staff as providing “50% affordable” or “up to 50% affordable” housing. However this representation of “50% affordable” is deceptive and misleading.

    It is deceptive because the 17% “Additional Affordable” will not be provided by Reservoir Community Partners, LLC (Avalon/Bridge). The 17% “Additional Affordability” will not be financed and built by Reservoir Community Partners. Rather, the 17% “Additional Affordable” will be coming entirely from public monies.

    The fact that the 17% “Additional Affordable” will not be borne by Reservoir Community Partners, LLC is confirmed by the BOS Budget Analyst’s analysis of the project’s “Findings of Fiscal Responsibility and Feasibility.”

    Please see the attached “The 50% Affordable Deception” and Chart.

    Bottom line: The actual and objective market-rate/affordable split is 60/40; NOT the 50/50 split that has been misleadingly marketed. The misleading representation of “50% Affordable” only facilitates privatization of public assets.

    2. Impact on City College
    The PUC Reservoir lot has historically been used for CCSF student parking. Student parking is the existing condition.

    The Reservoir Project fundamentally dumps the adverse impact of the elimination of 1,000 spaces onto City College. Elimination of 1,000 spaces will severely impair student, faculty, and staff access to City College . Yet the Reservoir Projects primary response has been TDM, asking City College stakeholders to reduce car usage. This fundamentally shifts the burden of mitigation of the Reservoir Project’s impact onto its victims.

    Bottom line: Reservoir Community Partners, LLC needs to fully mitigate the elimination of student parking by replacing the lost parking and paying for new parking on City College property.

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